Françoise Barnes is a painter living and working in New Mexico.
Born and educated in France, Barnes was always painting and drawing in her youth. After coming to the United States she took drawing classes at Ohio University. Shortly after, she discovered quilts, fell in love and immediately saw the possibilities of designing her own and not replicating the traditional ones. This was at the time when America had started to look at quilts not so much as bed covers, but as an art form. It became a passion for her. During some 20 years she exhibited her art quilts, taught, juried and lectured in the US and abroad. In 1979, Françoise Barnes co-founded Quilt National, a biennial exhibition which has since become arguably the most prestigious art quilt exhibition in the world.
Barnes created special designs for Woman’s Day and McCall’s Needle and Craft Magazine and was one of the artists selected for the PBS’ series Quilting.
1982 Ohio Arts Council Individual Fellowship recipient.
Her art quilts are in many private and corporate collections such as General Electric, Aetna, Delaware Art Museum (purchase), Ohio Arts Council Permanent Collection, etc.
A few critiques of her art quilt work:
...The three African-inspired mask quilts by Françoise Barnes display a complete mastery, not only in quilting techniques, but in creating illusions of depth and movement. Barnes quilts are unusually dynamic, and there is a wonderful play between abstract design and the literal depiction of an object…”
Diane Armitage, THE Magazine, April 1995, reviewing an exhibition of art quilts at the Horwitch-LewAllen Gallery Exhibition
Françoise Barnes uses the quilt medium almost as a painter would (her) canvas…the two dimensional plane of the quilt surface is manipulated to create the illusion of perspective in complex, abstract arrangements….bold, saturated colors play an integral role in the construction of the image….
The Ohio Selection’85 Catalog”, The Dayton Art Institute.
…in a word, her work is extraordinary…Barnes’ compositions speed with color and form, defying the borders of the quilt…
Art New England, June 82
During Francoise’s quilt career, she was also painting under the guidance of painter Murray Stern. In 1992 she made the decision to focus exclusively on painting. Barnes is currently represented by Mariposa Gallery in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she has had several shows over the last few years.